Little Red Riding Hood-the Original

The first literary version of this tale, ‘Le Petit Chaperon Rouge’, was published by
Charles Perrault in his collection, Histoires ou contes du temps passé (Stories or Tales of Past Times, 1697). Though it is not certain, Perrault probably knew an oral tale that emanated from sewing societies in the south of France and north of Italy. This folk tale depicts an unnamed peasant girl who meets a werewolf on her way to visit her grandmother. The wolf asks her whether she is taking the path of pins or needles. She indicates that she is on her way to becoming a seamstress by taking the path of the needles. The werewolf quickly departs and arrives at the grandmother’s house, where he devours the old lady and places some of her flesh in a bowl and some of her blood in a bottle. After the peasant girl arrives, the werewolf invites her to eat some meat and drink some wine before getting into bed with him. Once in bed, she asks several questions until the werewolf is about to eat her. At this point she insists that she must go outside to relieve herself. The werewolf ties a rope around her leg and sends her through a window. In the garden, the girl unties the rope and wraps it around a fruit tree. Then she escapes and leaves the werewolf holding the rope. In some versions of this folk tale, the werewolf manages to eat the girl. But for the most part the girl proves that she can fend for herself.

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